IAAF 'disappointed' by Russian doping efforts

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By AFP
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Athletics world governing body the IAAF is “disappointed” with the efforts being made to improve anti-doping practices in Russian sport, president Sebastian Coe said on Thursday.

Russia was banned from international athletics in November 2015 after evidence emerged of state-sponsored doping and must clean up its act before being allowed to return to the fold.

But an IAAF taskforce interim report released on Thursday said six key targets were not being met.

“The taskforce was disappointed with the lack of progress that has been made since the last report (in February),” Coe told reporters after an IAAF Council meeting in London.

“Particularly in key areas around testing, the ability to get hold of athletes’ biological passport samples and ongoing issues around closed cities and the ongoing employment of coaches from a tainted system who are still plying their trade.

“There is no reason why better progress has not been made. RusAF (the Russian Athletics Federation) should be under no illusion at all.

“The criteria we laid is down is the criteria that stands. This is what we are working to.”

In its report, taskforce president Rune Andersen said he would write to RusAF president Dimitri Shlyakhtin to voice his concerns and schedule a meeting.

Russia was barred from last year’s Rio Olympics and will not be able to send a team to this year’s World Championships in London in August.

But 12 individual athletes have been allowed to compete as neutrals.

Seven were added to the list on Tuesday, including world 110m hurdles champion Sergey Shubenkov and world high jump champion Maria Kuchina.

“It has always been our intention to separate the athletes eligible to compete from the tainted system,” Coe said.

“We will continue to do that. But this is not a shortcut to re-introduction.”

Coe also announced the organisation had scrapped plans to remove the 50 kilometres men’s walk from the Olympic programme.

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